Subsidies and the ACA
By Randy Litwiller
Published Thursday, October 26, 2017 9:14 am
After reading last week's letter to the editor, and reading it again, I cannot believe a person claiming to be a news reporter, claiming un-biased reporting of the news, while maintaining complete objectivity, would write such a biased, non-factual letter concerning Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act.
It is true that the president canceled subsidies in the ACA. The subsidies canceled are those funneled directly to the insurance companies. These payments were not authorized through Congress, as required, but authorized by Obama alone, in his effort to prop up a program doomed to fail from the get-go. The legal subsidies, approved through Congress, that go directly to people signed up under the ACA remain in place.
The cost of insurance next year for those signed up under the ACA will go up, just as they have year on year since this Non-Affordable Care Act was signed into law. In fact, a premium increase of 26 percent was approved for insurance companies before the president took any action or made any announcement concerning subsidies directed to insurance companies.
Since the ACA became law personal health coverage has dropped, choices are reduced, and costs continue to rise. This "news reporter" would have us believe the president's action to control insurance company profits and follow the law will kill people and force others into bankruptcy. The real threat to people is the ACA itself. Instead of trying to scare us with the nonsense that people will die and go bankrupt because the president chose not to ensure profits for insurance companies the focus should be fixing this mess. The misinformation put out in this letter doesn't solve anything, it just stirs the pot, fuels the fire and makes the idea of "fake news" more believable.
Where is the logic in continuing to subsidize insurance companies making 300 and 400 percent profits since the ACA became law. Continued subsidies to the insurance companies will do one thing -- guarantee excessive profits. Regulation of insurance companies may be better than continuing to donate your tax dollars in the form of insurance subsidies. Insurance company profits should be limited. They are basically a public utility. Controlling their ability to institute double digit rate increases may be necessary for any type of health care program to work. Next, instead of subsidies to insurance companies, additional subsidies could be made directly to individuals trying to maintain coverage. Remember, all subsidies, to insurance companies or individuals, come from taxes paid by all Americans. Where do you want your tax payments to go?
This is just one of many ideas we should run up the flag pole. Let's be proactive about solutions, not reactive spewing the rhetoric as was written in last week's letter to the editor. Scare tactics and fear mongering will not solve anything.
As a side note, I have skin in this game. I have been enrolled in the ACA through Colorado Connect for Health since its inception. Since then our choices of providers have dropped to one, our deductible has tripled, and our monthly premium has doubled. Now that's the program Obama promised!